There is so much to experience in Memphis that I found it impossible to complete my checklist of things to do and play bridge too! The warm Southern hospitality, Beale Street and its musical past and the world-famous BBQ are all great reasons to visit. A visit to Graceland which was built in 1939 AND the home of Elvis Presley is on the top of the list! I was lucky to get a photo without any people in it!
During the Memphis NABC, a free shuttle ride and tour of the ACBL Museum in Horn Lake, Mississippi was available on several days. If you have never visited the museum, it is well worth a trip. The history of bridge is beautifully displayed in the museum. The collection of bridge trophies is overwhelming! My favorite is the Vanderbilt Trophy which was donated by Howard Vanderbilt in 1928.
After my Honolulu Board Report was released, I was contacted by a few people who were confused about the meaning of the voting information that I listed after each motion. Here is how the voting works:
If the vote is 6 – 9 – 8 – 2:
6 = yes votes
9 = no votes
8 = abstain votes
2 = absent and not voting
In this example, the vote for the motion did not pass. If the result of the vote had been 9 – 6 – 8 – 2, the motion would have passed.
At our Memphis meetings, the following elections were held:
Claire Jones ran unopposed for ACBL Treasurer for another year. His term will end on April 30, 2020.
Georgia Heth and Al Levy were elected to the North American Bridge Federation effective immediately through December 31, 2021.
Al Levy was elected to the World Bridge Federation Executive Council effective immediately through December 31, 2021.
There were also several appointments made at the meetings.
Ross Grabel, John Carruthers and David Grainger were appointed to three-year terms on the Hall of Fame Committee.
Jeff Meckstroth was appointed to a three-year term on the Competitions and Conventions Committee. Jeff Goldsmith and Sabine Auken were appointed to one-year terms on the committee.
Kevin Bathurst, John Brissman, Hendrik Sharples, Eddie Wold and Bruce Ferguson were appointed to three-year terms on the Ethical Oversight Committee.
Chris Benson, Jan Martel, Chris Moll and William Schreiber were appointed to three-year terms on the Disciplinary Committee.
Robb Gordon, Eric Rodwell and Jeff Goldsmith were appointed to five-year terms on the Laws Commission.
Bruce Lang was appointed to a one-year term on the Masterpoint Committee. Harold Jordan was appointed to a two-year term on the Masterpoint Committee. Doug Couchman was appointed to a three-year term on the Masterpoint Committee.
Several motions were voted on in Memphis. They are as follows:
NABC Child Care- Provide options for child care at every NABC. The vote was 0-24-1. I voted no because the Board was informed that there will not be child care allowed at the Cosmopolitan Hotel this summer.
NABC Child Care Non-Agenda Item- Management will solicit third party providers for child care services at NABC’s where reasonably practicable. The vote was 25-0. It is effective immediately.
Goodwill Receptions- To reduce costs, ACBL Management submitted a motion to hold the Goodwill Reception only at the Summer NABC. The Board amended the motion to hold the Goodwill Reception at all THREE NABC’s with the ACBL providing food and a cash bar instead of a hosted bar. The vote was 13-12-0. I voted yes because we reduced the cost by changing to a cash bar while still allowing Goodwill Committee Members to be recognized at each NABC. It is effective August 1, 2019.
Renumeration of Support Staff and Volunteers- The Goodwill Chair receives airfare, two nights hotel and free plays for the duration of each NABC. The Board voted to change this and give the Goodwill Chair two nights hotel and two days (4 sessions) of free plays. The vote was 19-3-3. I voted yes because the Goodwill Chair was receiving substantially more benefits than all the other volunteer chairs. It is effective August 1, 2019.
Operating and Capital Budgets – The operating and capital budgets were approved by the Board. The operating budget is relatively flat for 2019 and the capital budget is $157,000 which includes replacing half of the roof on the ACBL Headquarters Building and various IT upgrades. The vote was 25-0.
Incentivize Recruiting Prospective New Members- The ACBL shall reward members in good standing who refer prospects to teachers, clubs, Units, Districts or ACBL when these prospects either sign up for a multiple year membership or renew a one-year membership. The motion was defeated by a vote of 2-23-0. I voted against the motion because the ACBL Marketing Department is working on a plan which addresses this issue.
Recognition for Top New Member Recruiters of the Year- The ACBL shall reward individuals with a $700 credit toward bridge entries at the Fall NABC tournament for outstanding performance in the recruitment of new members. The motion was defeated by a vote of 0-25-0. I voted no because the ACBL Marketing Department is working on a plan to address this issue.
4-Session Regional Events- The original motion requested for those unrestricted four session Regional events, other than Knockouts, the masterpoints shall be computed by formula as if a two-session event and then increased by 40%. The day that I arrived in Memphis, I received an email from Li-Chung Chen of the Silicon Valley Unit informing me that the proposed award was not equitable. I forwarded the information Li-Chung provided to me to our new ACBL President and masterpoint guru, Russ Jones, and the motion was changed to: for those unrestricted four session Regional events, other than Knockouts, the masterpoint awards shall be computed by formula increased by 60% and not to exceed fifty (50) masterpoints. A BIG THANK YOU TO LI-CHUNG CHEN! The vote was 25-0, but it will take a second reading and approval to be effective August 1, 2019. It will not be effective in time for the California Capital Regional in May, but, if all goes well in Las Vegas, it will be in effect for the California Capital Regional in 2020.
Flight C Canadian National Team Championship and Canadian Mixed Team Championship- Change the overall masterpoints awarded based on the formula to overall masterpoints for a fixed award to be determined by the Masterpoint Committee to be equivalent to the awards in similar USBF events. The vote was 25-0, but it will take a second reading and approval in Las Vegas to be effective August 1, 2019.
GNT Clarification- If eight (8) or more teams compete in the Flight B or Flight C GNT District Final, either the top two teams at a single site or, if a split-site event, the top team from each site will represent the District at the National Final. One District wanted the ability to choose its second team rather than select the top two teams in the District event. The vote was 24-1-0. I voted in favor of the motion. I believe that the top two teams in each flight should represent each District. It is effective immediately.
Jane Johnson Club Appreciation Games- This motion allows clubs to run two PAIR Club Appreciation Games in October instead of one PAIR game and one TEAM game. HOWEVER, there will be no gold points available if a club chooses to run two pair games. Gold masterpoints will only be awarded for a team game. The vote was 25-0 and it is effective September 1, 2019.
Masterpoints Awarded at Regional Events- A motion was submitted to allow Regional events with 18 or more boards per session to award 100% masterpoints of regional ratings. The motion was defeated and the vote was 2-23-0. I voted no because I think we should play more than 18 boards at Regional events.
Cheating scandals have become way too frequent in the ACBL. There are strong opposing opinions as to how cheaters should be punished. Here are the first two motions brought forward to deal with this issue.
Collusive Cheaters- There was a lot of discussion on this motion as well as many friendly amendments. In the end, here is what the motion said:
Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of Section 10.2, the ACBL Board of Directors will not hear, and ACBL Management hereby is instructed not to forward to the Board, any request for readmission of a member who was expelled for premeditated collusive cheating in NABC+ or equivalent events, or who resigned his membership for the purpose of avoiding possible disciplinary actions concerning premeditated collusive cheating in such events, or combination of such expulsion or resignation. Such a former member may never be readmitted to Membership in the ACBL nor participate in any ACBL sanctioned events.
The vote was 16-9-0. I voted yes because I do not want collusive cheaters in our organization. It is effective immediately.
Readmission Following Expulsion- This motion has three parts. (1) the ACBL Board of Directors will not hear, and ACBL Management will not forward to the Board, any request for readmission before ten (10) years from the date of Expulsion. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, if the individual who was expelled admitted to the factual basis of the Charges prior to the commencement of the hearing on those Charges, he may apply for readmission after five (5) years. (2) The ACBL Anti-Cheating Commission and the Ethical Oversight Committee will be informed of a prospective Readmission Following Expulsion. They may advise the ACBL Board of Directors, may be represented at a Readmission hearing, and may give oral or written testimony. (3) Any member readmitted under CDR 10.2.2 shall be place on probation for a minimum of 5 years. The vote was 23-1-1. I voted yes. It is effective July 1, 2019.
Code of Disciplinary Regulations – 2.2.3 Original/Appellate Jurisdiction of the ACBL Board of Directors- The motion states that the ACBL Board of Directors has original jurisdiction of the following:
ACBL Management may use the Executive Committee or the ACBL Board of Directors to make a determination under subrule (d).
In these disputes or cases, the ACBL Board of Directors delegates its duties as Charging Party to the Executive Director to act on its behalf. Any dispute or case that results in a Charge shall be heard by the ACBL Disciplinary Committee.
The vote was 25-0. It is effective April 1, 2019.
Voluntary Relinquishment- ACBL Management is directed to develop a policy and any related procedures allowing for the voluntary relinquishment of NABC+ titles and second place finishes in KO, BAM, and Swiss events. They should include provisions governing:
Who on the team has the authority to relinquish a title
How the ACBL should be notified of the intention to relinquish a title
How the intention to relinquish a title should be confirmed by other teammates, if such confirmation is required
How the relinquishment should be made public
The status of Masterpoints won in the event
The status of seeding points to team members acquired in the event
How far back in time titles may be relinquished
The policy and any related procedures must be developed within the following parameters:
A member of a team is not required to consent to the relinquishment if the player has been: (1) expelled from the ACBL for any reason; (2) resigned for the purpose of avoiding possible disciplinary actions; or (3) suspended for ethical violations at the time of the relinquishment.
No team may be elevated to a higher finishing position because of any title relinquished under this policy.
Any title relinquished under this policy shall be recorded in the official ACBL records as “Vacated”.
The vote was 25-0. It is effective at Management’s discretion.
Codification Clean Up Project- Management is reviewing the codification for consistency and making necessary changes. The Board is reviewing and approving the changes. The vote was 25-0. It is effective immediately.
Board of Directors Manual- An Orientation Manual for New Members of the Board of Directors shall be maintained by the Governance Committee. The current Board Member Welcome Packet, as Appendix 4A-2, from Chapter IV, ACBL Board of Directors, is deleted from the Codification. The vote was 25-0. It is effective immediately.
Requirement for Candidacy in Elections of District Directors, Alternate Directors and Board of Governors Representatives- A motion was made to ensure that each District is represented by someone who is a member of a Unit in the District and to clarify what Unit membership is for purposes of elections. A procedure was also established in the event a candidate’s candidacy is contested. The vote was 24-1. It is effective April 1, 2019 and retroactive for all candidates who have already filed for the Board of Directors in the 2019 election. It is effective June 1, 2019 for all Board of Directors, First and Second Alternates and Board of Governors Representatives.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the California Capital Regional! If you have anything you would like to discuss at any time, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.